The Energy Retail Association – a British group that represents electric and gas utilities, and works with customers to make their experience better – has just set up a cool new Google Map which shows various smart metering projects that are currently being implemented all across Europe. You click on an icon, and it tells you the type of project that is being done, and how big the project is. Cool stuff, especially if you’re into smart meters, which we here at EcoGeek are.
This map is just the latest in what has become a trend to create various types of green maps (usually using the Google Maps platform). For example, there is sf.solarmap.org, where San Francisco residents can look up the solar potential of their rooftop. The EPA also used their data to publish a map showing similar information – potential for solar, wind, etc. – across the entire nation.
What’s interesting about these maps (and the proliferation of all sorts of Google-Maps-based information) is that sometimes they perform a direct service, but sometimes they don’t. For example, if I’m thinking of putting up a solar installation or a wind turbine, I will consult one of the aforementioned maps, because it is a useful tool.
However, there are other maps out there – including this smart meter map – whose primary purpose is to illustrate the current state and scope of a trend, rather than “do” something. There are others that fall into the same category. There’s Green Map, a site that shows various green places and businesses for someone who wants to see what’s going on in his/her area. There is even a site called See I’m Green, where self-declared green individuals can make themselves known.
Granted, these maps are small, and not very filled-in. Realistically, unless they offer some tangible benefit to users I question whether they will ever really catch on and grow. But I think that these maps are part of a larger attempt to unify all the factors that EcoGeeks care about, and make it available to everyone. That's why there is enormous potential, and that's why I am excited. In the same way that the internet has granted unlimited options for self-expression and social networking, hopefully it will one day allow unprecedented communication, participation and cooperation in implemented clean technology.
Via Greentech Media
written by Green Map System, January 08, 2009
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